Boat Classifications

Boats are placed into specific classes based on vessel length. The safety equipment that federal and state laws require on board is determined by the class of your boat.

To determine a boat’s class, its length is measured along the centerline from the outside of the bow to the outside of the stern. Additional attachments are not considered in the measurement.

To understand what safety equipment you are required to carry on board your vessel, you’ll need to know what class your boat is in. 

Class A

Boats measuring less than 16 feet.

Class 1

Boats measuring more than 16 feet but less than 26 feet.

Class 2

Boats measuring more than 26 feet but less than 40 feet.

Class 3

Boats measuring more than 40 feet but less than 65 feet.

You should also read:

Boating Terminology

Parts of a Boat